Friday, 25 June 2010

Major deficiencies in artificial feeding, inquiry finds

There are major deficiencies in the way hospitals provide artificial nutrition to sick babies and adults, an inquiry has found.

A national safety watchdog found problems in three quarters of the intravenous feeding it cases examined. Complications were avoidable in half the adult patients reviewed, it said. Premature babies meanwhile were not always given the sustenance they needed, and delays were rife, the report added.

The report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) looked at more than 1,000 cases of artificial - or parenteral - nutrition in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Liquid containing key nutrients pumped from a bag directly into a vein is given to patients who cannot digest food through the gut as a result of disease or surgery, or babies whose systems are not mature enough. A catalogue of problems were uncovered while reviewing questionnaires and case notes from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the "Mixed Bag" report found.

They included failure to ensure the catheter was inserted by a trained clinician under suitably sterile conditions, as well as lapses in monitoring and assessment...
Source: BBC

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